Dr. Menashe Anzi

The Indian Ocean and Red Sea Jewry. Specifically, the modern history of Yemenite Jews and Iraqi Jews, the relationship between Jews and Muslims in Islamic cities, and the trade networks and Jewish migration along the Indian Ocean.

Dr. Menashe Anzi was awarded a PhD in Jewish History from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem in 2012. His dissertation, which was written under the supervision of Prof. Richard I. Cohen and Prof. Menachem Ben-Sasson examines the relationship between Jews and Muslims in Ṣanʿāʾ with an emphasis on their minor position within the Islamic city.

Dr. Anzi was a Deputy Chair of the Ben-Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East, Jerusalem (2013-2014). Anzi held a Post-doctoral fellowship at Bar-Ilan University, at Ben-Gurion University and at ‘Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe’ (EUME), Berlin. In 2015-16 he is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the I-COR ‘Daat Hamakom’, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

As fellow of Daat Hamakom the purpose of his project is to show the close ties that existed between Jewish communities along the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in Modern Times. furthermore, the aim of his study is to point out the continuity of a shared commercial, social and cultural space and to posit the Jewish Indian Ocean and the Red Sea in a common geographic-cultural frame.

In this project, Dr. Anzi hope to establish a major body of knowledge on these trade networks, and examine them on three levels: The trading network; The establishment of satellite communities in various places such as India, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Persian Gulf; The cultural influences between communities.

By exploring the movement of people, languages and knowledge in these areas, Dr. Anzi will inquire whether these connections also led to the creation of an “imagined community”. Through the notion of a “Transnational community” and “Diaspora community”, his study will offer an alternative perspective on the history of Jews in modern times, especially in the East and the South, one that is not based merely on the division of the Jewish world between the North and the South Mediterranean. Rather, it will include areas along the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea that have received minimum attention in scholarly research.

Selected Publications

M. Anzi and K. Hünefeld, “Ṣanʿāʾ, Jerusalem, New York: Imām Yaḥyā Ḥamīd al-Dīn (1869–1948) and Yemeni-Jewish Migration from Palestine to the United States”, The Yemeni Manuscript Tradition, eds. D. Hollenberg, C. Rauch and S. Schmidtke, Leiden 2015, pp. 245-273.

”Yemenite Jews in The Red Sea Trade and the Development of a New Diaspora”, submitted to Northeast African Studies.

“ʿAgunot and Converts to Islam: Jews and Muslims in Yemen from 1950 to 1962”, submitted to PaRDeS.